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ig influential. To assist our apprehensions of the peculiar nature of this divine and internal calling let us observe, that there is a call entirely God's own; the reason why some are thus wrought upon rather than others, and obey the call to come out from the world, is not to be ascribed to their superior merit, and their better inclination recommending them to God; because the Scriptures declare that it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.

His chcice cannot be owing to our works, for we are created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them;t nor to our good will, for it is God that worketh in us to will and to do of his good pleasure.I Whatever there is good in his people is God's own gift and work, and could therefore never induce him to make choice of them. Moreover, God's election was made from eternity, as we learn from 2 Thess. ii, 13, God hath from the beginning chosen us to salvation; and (by necessary inference) from Rev. xvii, 8, Our names are written in the Lamb's book of life, before the foundation of the world. That the election thus made from everlasting is not because the merit of the objects was foreseen, is clear from Eph. i, 4, He hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love; and from Rom. viii, 29, Whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of

* Rom. ix, 16.

Eph. ü, 10,

Phil. ii, 13,

his Son. The holiness of the elect is the effect, not the cause of their election. There is, therefore, no cause existing in ourselves to render us the objects of his choice, neither is there any other reason assigned for it in the Scripture. Election must be called an act of that sovereign power whereby the Almighty God acts according to the purpose of his own will, without thinking fit to render an account of it to his creatures; and though this act of his sovereignity is unquestionably consistent with his other attributes, yet as that consistency is not revealed to us we must rest satisfied with the general reflection, that the Judge of all the earth will do right. All that can be stated positively on this subject is, that in the covenant of redemption it is the prerogative of the Father to elect those whom he will give to Christ: for thus said our Lord, No man can come unto me except the Father which hath sent me, draw him; and in his last prayer, recorded in St. John, he speaks of his people as given to him by the Father, I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.* How high and awfully grand are the destinies of a holy soul! Known to the ancient of days before all time, and loved with an everlasting love, he is brought through every danger in this world to the enjoyment of eternal glory! How frequently should the church of God be meditating on these things, and pondering the weight and

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* John xvii,!

excellency of them in their minds: for, to quote an article of our church, “To godly persons, and such as feel in themselves the working of the Spirit of Christ, mortifying the works of the flesh and their earthly members, and drawing up their minds to high and heavenly things, the godly consideration of our predestination and election in Christ is full of sweet, pleasant, and unspeakable comfort."*

But to return the Christian is further to be considered as saved in the Son, or in the language of the text, in Christ Jesus. This our Savior lays down as an evidence of our election, Every man, said he, which hath heard and learned of the Father cometh unto me. Every heaveninstructed Christian, convinced that he is ignorant, guilty, polluted, and enslaved, applies to Christ that he may of God be made to him wisdom, and righteousness

, and sanctification, and redemption. He feels himself authorised to do this because God hath set forth his Son to be a propitiation, through faith in his blood; and he is encouraged to it by the gracious invitations of Christ himself: Come unto me all

ye

that labor and are heavy laden; Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out; and, Whosoever will let him come; without money and without price. From this period he begins to date a new era of his life; for by renouncing all confidence in himself, and desiring the righteousness which is of God, by faith, he makes that critical transition which carries him from

17th. Article of the Church of England.

death unto life: a new system with regard to him is adopted by God, and adhered to. Having once come to God by Christ, he is always regarded by God as in Christ. His former sins are remembered no more; God is satisfied with the atonement of Christ for them; a justifying righteousness is no more required of him, because Christ's righteousness is imputed to him, by faith; and the rewards of heaven, though merited only by Christ, are bestowed on the believer because he is in Christ. How safe, how peaceable, how happy, how honorable to be thus in Christ! What are the feelings of those, who, after being in danger of shipwreck have reached a hospitable shore? how does their late danger enhance their enjoyment of safety! Thus the man that hath set his foot on the rock of ages may rejoice in his escape from danger, and in the assurance of his everlasting safety. The agitations of this tempestuous world, and the tumults of a troubled conscience he has now escaped, and can smile at the angry billows breaking far beneath him. Now he lifts high his song of triumph, The Lard is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my. God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. * Now he sends his challenge through the creation. Who shall

separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? nay, in all these things we are

* Ps. xviii, 3.

more than conquerors through him that loved us.* Such is the safe and honorable situation of believers; and such the happiness resulting from their privileges: receiving a further addition from that sanctification of nature which they receive from the influences of the Holy Ghost.

This is the third point we were to consider. Holiness is that to which they are led, both by the electing love of the Father, and by their union to the Son; this is the connexion observe able in the text. Called to what? not only to be saints in Christ Jesus, but sanctified in Christ Jesus.

Concerning the necessity of holiness no humble Christian will pretend to raise doubts, since it is so expressly declared, that without holiness no man shall see the Lord: though some, who affect to be advocates of grace, have fallen into the Antinomian heresy, professing to know God, but in works denying him. We suppose that none of you have fallen into this delusion; yet it is necessary to have it constantly inculcated upon our minds that God, who hath called us to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, hath also called us to be holy in order to be meet for the inheritance of the saints

If he has appointed to us the end, he has also appointed to us the means of attaining that end. Is it said that he hath saved us not at all according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace,

which was given us in * Rom. vii, 35, 37.

in light.

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